NLC to shutdown Kaduna for five days, in protest over El’Rufai’s ‘anti-workers policies’ | Ripples Nigeria
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NLC to shutdown Kaduna for five days, in protest over El’Rufai’s ‘anti-workers policies’

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to embark on a showdown with the Kaduna State government led by Nasir el’Rufai over the state government’s policies concerning workers.

President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba announces that the NLC would embark on a five-day strike action in protest over el’Rufai’s perceived anti-labour policies.

A workers’ strike looms in Kaduna State, as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday morning, disclosed plans to totally withdraw it’s services in the state for five days.

Speaking during a breakfast programme on Channels Television, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, disclosed the union’s decision, but noted that no specific date has been fixed for it’s commencement.

Meanwhile, the planned industrial action is perceived to be because of the anti-labour policies of the state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, which led to the laying off of civil servants without paying their entitlements.

Recently, Wabba had in a letter to the state governor on Friday April 9, asked him to reverse the mass sack of workers, describing it as an ”arbitrary and cruel” decision.

According to him, the actions of the State Government to retire workers, who were yet to attain the statutory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of service, amounted to a contemptuous disdain of the workforce.

”This is also a flagrant violation of the provisions of the civil service rules as contained in contracts of employment of the affected workers, at both state and local government.

“It is pertinent at this point to remind Your Excellency that Nigeria is not a Banana Republic, but a Constitutional Republic governed by laws, rules and regulations.

”To the best of our knowledge, none of the extant provisions in our Constitution, Labour Laws and Civil Service rules, were adhered to before the ongoing redundancy of workers in Kaduna State,” Wabba said.

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He further called the attention of the State Government to the clause in the redundancy letter issued to workers affected by the mass sack, that all the entitlements of the affected workers would be paid in due course, describing this as being in conflict with the provisions of the Labour Act on redundancy.

”Your Excellency is aware that the clause in the letter is vague, noncommittal, ambiguous and anomalous with the provisions of the Labour Act on redundancy.

“Succinctly put, this industrial ill-wind was only a furtherance of the climate of neo-liberal and anti-workers policies which your administration is increasingly gaining a badge of notoriety in the eyes of right-thinking Nigerians.

”Section 20 (1c) of the Labour Act provides that: the employer shall use his best endeavours to negotiate redundancy payments to any discharged workers.

”Your Excellency, what the law provides for is that redundancy benefits must be negotiated,” he added.

Meanwhile, this isn’t the first time the state governor would be laying off workers without giving them their benefits.

Wabba said the governor had two years ago, laid off teachers, noting that the teachers were yet to receive their retirement benefits, which offered little hope that workers that were currently marked for mass sack, will receive theirs any time soon.

He argued that the purge of Kaduna State workforce with unjust, arbitrary and illegal mass sack, especially amidst the great difficulties and hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, was a poorly conceived, extremely wrong, and morally indefensible policy.

”This policy also has very huge implications for the already serious unemployment and security situation in Kaduna State and the country at large.

”The pervading fear now is that the security crisis in Kaduna State will worsen, when bread winners are deprived of their legitimate income and their families put in disarray.

”We write to demand that Your Excellency quickly reverses the so-called rationalisation and casualization of Kaduna State workers.

”If this unsavoury situation persists, Organised Labour will not hesitate to fall back on the lawful options available to workers to pursue justice in this matter,” he added.

By Victor Uzoho…

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